Trees are all over the place. They are big green things that stick out of the ground and are made of wood. Birds sit in them to shit on your head, squirrels climb around in them to throw bits of them at your car, and rain accumulates in them to release itself in a solid lump as you walk underneath. When it is windy sometimes a whole tree falls on your head. Sometimes they eat bicycles. Sometimes they eat hobbits. And there is one near my house which sometimes fucks my internet connection. So as you can see they are quite important things and it is useful to be able to know what they are.

There are lots of books and things that tell you what trees are but they go on and on and aren't really very interesting (unless you are a tree, because books are made of trees). For everyday purposes it's a lot simpler, because all you really need to know is that there are four different kinds of trees, and they have simple distinguishing characteristics which makes it easy to tell them apart.

Christmas trees: Funny leaves. Most trees have leaves and they fall off in the autumn. Christmas trees have needles instead of leaves and they stay on in the autumn. So at Christmas people cut them down and wrap them up in netting so they look like rolls of carpet. Other people then tie them to the top of their car and take them home and stick the topmost branch up a fairy's arse. Over the next couple of weeks or so the needles gradually fall off as the fairy shit poisons the tree. The house is then adequately provisioned with a sufficient supply of needles to last until next Christmas when they get another Christmas tree for a fresh supply.

Poplars: Funny shape. Poplars are very long trees. They look like Christmas trees rolled up in netting except there isn't any netting and they're not rolled up and they're not Christmas trees. They have leaves and the leaves fall off in the autumn and basically they're just the same as ordinary trees except they only grow in one direction.

Silver birches: Funny colour. Most trees are brown apart from the leaves. Silver birches are not brown. They are white. They are not silver either. They are made of wood the same as other trees.

Hornbeam. This is the name for any tree that isn't any other sort of tree.

Like I said, most of the time that's all there is to it. If you do want to get complicated, however, then there are also four different kinds of surreptitious trees. Surreptitious trees are hornbeams most of the time but under certain circumstances things fall out of them when you're not expecting it.

Apple trees. These are what Isaac Newton sat underneath to invent gravity. The gravity made apples fall out of them. Nowadays this happens every year before the leaves fall off. Apples are big green round things which have wasps in and you can eat them. The weight of an apple is about one newton.

Conker trees. These are what some silly bugger sat underneath to invent gravity and make apples fall out of them without realising that Isaac Newton had already done it. So it went wrong and conkers fell out instead. Conkers are small green round things which have spikes on and you can't eat them. There is a brown thing inside which doesn't have spikes but you can't eat that either. So they are shit. Conker trees are also quite dangerous because they cause what the media call mass shooting incidents. What happens is kids throw stones at them and miss and hit people walking past instead. Eventually someone gets pissed off and goes and gets an automatic weapon and massacres the little fuckers. For this reason conker trees are banned in America. It doesn't work. In England we've got lots of them so we ban guns instead, which does.

Cherry trees. It is in the spring that you get to find out what these are. They grow loads of white fluffy shit and then it all falls off again. You'd think they'd learn, but they don't. Because they are plants. If you really do think they'd learn you might well be nearly a plant yourself. The white fluffy shit is useful for when you spill a big puddle of oil. It doesn't soak it up but it does stick to it and hide it so people don't realise what you've done. Cherries are small round black things and you can eat them. Cherries do not fall out of cherry trees. Cherries are made in China by infusing a complex mixture of alcohols and carbonyls into sheep turds. Cherry trees are named after the very similar things that grow on them if you cover the branches with old tights. Before tights were invented they were called white fluffy shit trees.

Gluey shit trees. These grow along the side of roads hiding among all the other trees that grow along the side of roads. They wait for someone to come and park their car underneath and then as soon as they have buggered off a whole load of gluey shit falls out of the tree. When the person gets back they find their car covered in a gooey layer of semi-opaque horrible crap with dust and grit and leaves and bits of bark and other shit embedded in it that blew onto it before it set. This shite is bleeding impossible to wash off even when you have unlimited supplies of soap and hot water, so when all you've got is spit you're fucked. Gluey shit trees can often be identified before you can even see them by the sound of someone swearing and swearing as they scrub frantically and fruitlessly at the windscreen with their sleeve, or the crash when they give up in disgust and drive off slowly and erratically down the road and into the ditch.

Note: A lava tree is not a tree made of molten rock. It is not actually any sort of tree. It is a little room with a porcelain bowl in it where you go to have a shit.

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